The Jackie Robinson Parkway is a nearly five-mile stretch of road that connects Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, and a fairly beautiful drive as far as New York City parkways go, cutting, as it does, through parks and cemeteries. It was named for Robinson in 1997, and his grave is nearby, which is a nice way to remember the player who broke baseball’s color barrier. Someone in the city’s Department of Transportation, or probably many people, had a bad day, though, recently, misspelling Robinson’s name on a road sign. They spelled Robinson’s first name “Jakie,” which is wrong.
Now, who among us has not committed a typo or two? Though probably not many among us have done this on a sign for the road. City DOT officials told The New York Post on Sunday that the sign would be fixed “immediately,” which is probably more urgent than the situation requires, though the Post was able to get some people worked up about the whole thing.
“It’s embarrassing,” Glendale native Kira Incantalupo told The Post on Sunday. “Poor Jackie Robinson.
“That shouldn’t have happened,” said Incantalupo, 37. “I mean, nobody wants to have that. It’s a memorial for somebody. It should be corrected.”
Local resident Quana Martin, 32, found the typo disrespectful.
“I just feel it’s a little odd because how do you not know how to spell his name? He’s a well-known figure.”
Queens teen JP Ward had a harsher take.
“It’s fucking stupid,” the 17-year-old said. “I wouldn’t say it’s disrespectful, but it’s definitely stupid.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s disrespectful, but it’s definitely stupid” does seem like the correct take on the matter, though the Post was also able to get a city councilman on the record expressing further outrage.
“This spelling mistake is absurd,” City Councilman Robert Holden added of the road-sign typo on Sunday. “You don’t have a few eyes looking at these signs? DOT is a mess.
“This is a slap in the face. Jackie Robinson means a lot to me,” the pol added. “I was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan!”
The New York Times reported in 1997 when the parkway was named for Robinson that the city had made new signs back then, but wasn’t allowed to install them just yet until the state legislature passed a new law, for some reason. If you’ve ever wondered how the government in New York operates, it is all of this.